One SUU student’s mom bought 19 T-shirts from a PacSun store at the University Mall in Orem this past week because she thought the picture on the front was inappropriate.
Judy Cox, mother to James Cox, a sophomore communication major from Orem, said she was walking through University Mall when she saw a window display that disturbed her.
“I saw the T-shirts, and I stopped because I was so shocked,” she said. “I didn’t expect to see anything like that in the mall.”
The shirts showed half-naked women.
After seeing the display, she said she walked to another store, trying to forget about what she saw. After a few minutes, Judy Cox said she went back to the store and asked the manager to take the shirts down from the window.
“The manager agreed with me, but told me there wasn’t anything she could do until she talked with corporate, and that could take days,” she said.
Judy Cox said she decided to take matters into her own hands and said she asked if she could buy the display. She said the manager told her she could, but they would have to replace the ones she bought with the shirts they had left.
“I thought about it, and the only thing I could think of to get these shirts out of the window was to buy them,” she said. “So I did.”
Judy Cox said she bought all 19 T-shirts with the inappropriate picture and spent close to $600.
James Cox said he could not be more proud of his mother.
“It’s amazing what one person can do to stand up for something that they believe in,” he said. “I was a little taken aback at first, but it became clear to me that it’s taking a stand against something that’s not right.”
Judy Cox said she did some research and found the shirts could possibly be violating Orem City’s decency code that states if any public display has the buttocks, breasts or genitals showing, the figure needs an opaque covering.
“I filed a complaint with the police department,” she said. “I recently found out that that complaint has been approved and has been passed on to the attorney’s office.”
If the complaint is decided in her favor, the T-shirts will not be able to be shown in the window or sold to minors.
Cox said she plans on keeping the T-shirts until a decision is made and hopes the decision comes before the 60-day return policy is up.
“I don’t intend to keep them, and I’m going to give them back,” she said. “I think my concerns have been very well heard by PacSun, and if the complaint is passed, they won’t be up in the window, and that was really the goal.”
As for the attention Judy Cox has received, she said she had no idea it would reach international headlines.
“I was flabbergasted with the whole thing,” she said. “I was expecting a local effort. … When it (went) viral like it did, I was shocked. Ultimately, it’s a good thing, because it has people talking and aware of what is happening in our society, and that conversation, to me, is really important.”
Judy Cox said she is not only getting attention from the media, but also from strangers across the country who are sending her letters in which they have offered to pay the full amount of the shirts or give a donation to cover the cost of the shirts. One man from Texas sent her this letter:
“Dear Judy, this brings God, Christianity and morals back to the USA. Thank you! – Austin, Texas.”
As Judy Cox read this aloud, she broke into tears and said this letter counteracts the negative ones she has received.
“Wow … you know, this makes it all worth it, and people are truly amazing,” she said.
Judy Cox said she does not understand why her actions have gotten so much attention. After all, she said, it was only 19 T-shirts.
“I mean, how big of a deal is it, really, that I bought 19 shirts?” she asked. “I think I’ve touched a nerve. My actions were big enough in people’s minds that it has empowered people to say, ‘We can do something, we can say something.’”